Utah has had its share of high-impact transfer players over the years. and that continued last season.

In 2023, Miles Battle, a transfer from Ole Miss, provided a boost at the cornerback position, playing nearly as many snaps as starter JaTravis Broughton. Battle finished the season with 32 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, an interception and four pass breakups in his final year of college football.

“The portal really is the place that we fill gaps with guys that we need to be ready to play immediately. The ready-made guys that can plug and play.” — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham

Cole Becker, a Colorado transfer, shored up Utah’s kicking game (making 15 of 18 field goals and all 28 extra points); he nailed a game-winner on the road at USC. Stanford linebacker Levani Damuni stepped up after Lander Barton’s season-ending injury in Los Angeles, leading Utah’s defense with 87 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, and BYU transfer defensive end Logan Fano was on pace for a good season before tearing his ACL at Oregon State.

Tight end Landen King played some valuable snaps with Brant Kuithe and Thomas Yassmin injured (Kuithe was out for the season, while Yassmin suffered a season-ending injury five games into the season), finishing the year with 14 catches for 166 yards and three touchdowns. 

“The portal really is the place that we fill gaps with guys that we need to be ready to play immediately. The ready-made guys that can plug and play,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in December.

Nine players — USC WR Dorian Singer, Washington WR Taeshaun Lyons, Stanford S Alaka’i Gilman, Michigan CB Cameron Calhoun, UTEP DE Kanious Vaughn, Idaho RB Anthony Woods, Georgia Tech CB Kenan Johnson, BYU DE John Henry Daley and UCLA TE Carsen Ryan transferred to Utah this offseason, with 16 players transferring out from Kyle Whittingham’s team.

With spring camp a couple weeks away from starting, here are three transfer players that could make an impact for Utah in 2024.

Dorian Singer, WR, junior, USC

The Utes are looking for a new WR1 for 2024, and USC transfer Dorian Singer could fit the bill.

Devaughn Vele, who led Utah with 43 receptions for 593 yards and three touchdowns, declared for the NFL draft, and Mikey Matthews, who had a promising freshman season with 29 catches for 261 yards, transferred to Cal.

That’s a solid chunk of wide receiver production to replace as star quarterback Cam Rising gets set for his first action since the 2022 season.

Money Parks, Mycah Pittman and Munir McClain could all be valuable targets for Rising, but if Singer returns to his old form, he could turn into Rising’s go-to target in 2024.

Last season with USC, the 6-foot, 180-pound Singer had 24 receptions for 289 yards and three touchdowns, which would have ranked third for the Utes last season, just behind Parks’ 31 receptions for 293 yards and two scores. In 2022 at Arizona, the former walk-on exploded for 1,105 yards and six touchdowns on 66 receptions, good for second in the Pac-12 that season.

He has an excellent chance to make the starting lineup, and if Singer can get back to his 2022 form, he could have a big year with Rising throwing him balls.

Another transfer to keep your eye on in the wide receiver room is four-star Washington freshman Taeshaun Lyons. Rated the 29th best receiver in the class of 2023 by 247Sports, Lyons saw the field sparingly for the 2023 national runner-ups, but the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder could make a difference for the Utes in 2024.

Kenan Johnson, CB, redshirt junior, Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech’s Kenan Johnson defends during a game against Clemson on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, in Atlanta. | Stew Milne, Associated Press

Cornerback was a position of need for Utah after Battle declared for the NFL draft, Broughton transferred and depth players — Faybian Marks, Kenzel Lawler and Jocelyn Malaska — entered the portal.

Zemaiah Vaughn — who had a solid year with 53 tackles, five tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, an interception and seven pass deflections — will be back in the CB1 spot. Smith Snowden should take the starting nickel back spot, with 2023 starting nickel Tao Johnson moving to safety, but a starting outside cornerback spot is up for grabs.

The Utes have some fairly raw cornerbacks, like four-star freshman CJ Blocker, who played in one game last season, three-star redshirt freshman Elijah Davis, who played primarily on special teams in 2023, and Michigan transfer freshman Cameron Calhoun, who played 13 snaps for the defending national champions.

Georgia Tech transfer Kenan Johnson could be the Utes’ best bet to start alongside Vaughn in 2024.

The 6-foot-1, 183-pound Johnson will be a senior this season and comes off of a solid 2023 campaign for the Yellow Jackets — 29 tackles, two forced fumbles, four pass deflections and an interception. He played in 11 games, starting eight, and had the highest defensive grade on Georgia Tech’s team, according to Pro Football Focus.

The wealth of experience that Johnson brings from Georgia Tech gives him a leg up on the starting job, though he does have to learn a new defense. Johnson could fill that Battle role of an impact cornerback that’s hugely important to the Utes this season.

Anthony Woods, RB, sophomore, Idaho

Ja’Quinden Jackson, Utah’s primary running back last season, is moving on to Arkansas, leaving the starting job open. Jackson carried the ball 161 times in 2023, gaining 797 yards and scoring four touchdowns while battling an ankle injury all season.

Even before Jackson officially entered the transfer portal, Utah was proactive, grabbing Idaho sophomore running back Anthony Woods.

Utah’s running backs room is fairly full, with Micah Bernard returning after missing most of last season with an injury, plus Jaylon Glover, who had 137 carries for 562 yards and two touchdowns in 2023, including a 107-yard performance against Colorado.

Add in four-star freshmen Mike Mitchell, John Randle Jr. and Dijon Stanley — one of whom could break out this season — and things start getting a little crowded.

Even with all of the bodies in the room, Woods could still get plenty of touches in 2024 if he continues on his trajectory. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior was named first-team All-Big Sky last season after rushing for 1,131 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

While Power Four football will certainly be a step up for Woods, his speed could translate very nicely to the next level and he could end up as a nice complement to Bernard, who should be RB1 this season.

Idaho running back Anthony Woods carries the ball during a game against Washington State, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. | Young Kwak, Associated Press